Strategic HR Planning

HR Planning: Why It Is Essential for Your Organization’s Success

By Stacey Carroll

You know your company has goals for next quarter, next year and the years to come. From higher profits to more product reach, have you aligned your HR planning with your organization’s goals? How can you help ensure that your company has the employees it needs to succeed now and in the future?

What is HR Planning?

Is your HR planning aligned with your organization’s goals? View PayScale’s webinar HR Planning: HR’s Role in Strategic Workforce Planning for 2009 and Beyond to make sure you’re planning and preparing for the most successful future possible.

Human resource planning is the process of analyzing and identifying the needs for and availability of human resources so that the organization can reach its objectives. Both employee retention and attracting new talent make HR planning a core competency to creating your organization’s successful future. By linking HR planning to your company’s strategic goals, you and your HR team ensure your organization’s competitive advantage.

What Are the Purposes of Human Resource Planning?

In order to create a successful HR plan, you first need to ask, “What are the purposes of human resource planning?” There are four tasks that a HR plan will accomplish:

  1. Identify the HR needs of the organization based on strategic goals (forecasting demand).
  2. Help you understand the talent that you already have and become familiar with the talent you need (forecasting workforce supply).
  3. Make sure you’re up-to-date on your labor market, e.g. the talent that is available to you now and in the future (forecasting workforce supply).
  4. Help you create or modify HR policies, procedures and practices to align the demand and supply of HR talent in the organization.

Strategic HR Planning Today

In these times of great economic turbulence, the importance of human resource planning is more apparent than ever. A short-sighted lay-off, intended to temporarily reduce overhead, can result in much heavier long-term costs. You may one day regret letting people go when you’re spending time and money to hire and train new staff. Plus, you lose profits when you lose experienced, knowledgeable employees.

In contrast, a smart human resources plan encourages your organization to keep a longer view of things and retain talent so that, once this economic upheaval has calmed down, you’ll have a committed team in tact.

Looking to the Future

There are six key components to successful HR planning that we will cover in greater detail in future posts:

  1. Know the company/organization’s strategic plan.
  2. Do an external scan.
  3. Assess the internal workforce.
  4. Forecast workforce demand.
  5. Forecast workforce supply.
  6. Develop programs, policies and practices to align workforce supply and demand.

For now, remember the importance of human resource planning in our current scenario of widespread downsizing and layoffs. Think long-term when it comes to HR planning. Support and retain your best talent. And, that way, you’ll help your organization prepare for long-term success by aligning the mission of the organization with the talent that you have and the talent that you will need in the future.

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